Action Plan

Turning Outcome Goals Into Behavior Goals

What, exactly, are your fitness goals?

Any effort to “get in shape” starts with this question.

It seems like an easy question to answer.

Just rattle off how many pounds you want to lose, what pant size you want to wear, how much weight you want to deadlift, or the date you need to look photo-ready… and you’re on your way.

Of course, that’s how most people set their fitness goals. But are they doing it right?

Usually not.

When you set your goals up properly, you have a simple, elegant, action-inspiring blueprint. You know exactly how you’re going to build the skills you need to get the body you want.

Proper goal setting is a plan for getting things done. When you do goals right, you feel ready, willing, and able to make your dream happen.

When you don’t know how to set goals, you get lost. Confused. Overwhelmed. Crushed by “shoulds”. Distracted by wondering and worrying, or by irrelevant details. If you succeed with poor or unclear goals, it’s probably by accident.

Mastering the skill of goal setting is powerful.

You need a formula that can be applied to any desired outcome — from losing weight, to getting off cholesterol meds, to feeling good about where you are in life.

Today, I will outline one of three  formulas for goal setting. These are exact strategies that I learned while becoming a Precision Nutrition Level 2 coach, and the same formula I use with Fit-2-The-Core members and thousands of Precision nutrition clients s well with great success.

There are three important ways to instantly transform “bad” fitness goals into “good” ones and today I’m going to share the first one with you.

Step 1: Turn “outcome goals” into “behavior goals”.

Generally, when someone asks about their fitness goals, most people start with the outcome(s) they want:

·      I want to lose 20 pounds.

·      I want that thin-skinned, ripped look.

·      I want to binge less often.

·      I want to deadlift double my bodyweight.

Outcome goals describe how we want things to be at the end of the process.

There’s nothing wrong wanting things. Or talking about what you want. Or starting with the end in mind.

But we can’t stop there.

Wanting things isn’t enough. Even if you really, really, really want them.

Because: We often can’t control outcomes.

Outcomes are affected by environmental things. Like:

·      Your job gets crazy busy.

·      Your kid gets sick.

·      Your gym closes for renovations.

·      Your mom with dementia needs help.

·      You have exams at school.

And they’re influenced by physical things. Like:

·      Your hormones get out of whack.

·      You have a chronic illness. (Or even just a tough bout with the flu.)

·      You’re stressed.

·      You’re traveling a lot.

·      You’re getting older.

·      You’re having problems sleeping.

·      You sprained your ankle or your arthritic knee is doing its thing again.

You get the idea.

You can’t make your body do what you want it to. (And neither can your coaches.)

But you can control what you do.

That’s why behavior goals are so important: They focus on the things we do have control over.

Behavior goals represent your commitment to practice a particular set of actions or tasks every day, as consistently and regularly as possible.

Here’s a practical example.

Client:“I want a flat stomach.”

Coach:“Okay, cool.

“Let’s write that down as the outcome you want.

“Now let’s think about all the little steps we can take to move you toward that outcome, and which ones should come first.

“In my experience, here’s a step that makes a huge difference, and it’s a great place to start.

“It’s very simple but incredibly effective: Eating slowly.

“I know it doesn’t seem to relate to ‘flat stomach’ right away.

“But in fact, eating slowly helps you pay more attention to what you’re eating and how. That means over time, you make better food choices easily and effortlessly.

“Eating slowly helps you eat a bit less, but still feel satisfied. It helps decrease bloating because now you’re chewing and digesting your food better, which is another plus for Project Flat Stomach.

“Would you be willing to try this first step of eating slowly, and also to track whether you practice this?”

Since eating slowly helps folks eat less, and eating less most often leads to fat loss (not to mention the benefits of better food choices and better digestion), this approach helps turn an outcome (uncontrollable) into a behavior (controllable).

Here are a few other examples of how we can turn outcome goals into behavior goals.

Table Strategies

Notice how both outcome and behavior goals are trackable. However, behavior goals are usually more effective because they give you something to do (and track) each day.

So how can you set powerful behavior goals today?

1.     Write down one outcome you want. Don’t overthink it. Just name the desire you want most right now.

2.     Write down some of the skills you think you’ll need to get that outcome. If you’re just starting out, focus on foundational skills. What are the basics that make everything else possible? (For instance, if you want to manage your time, you need to learn to use a calendar.)

3.     Related to each skill, write down a behavior or two you can do today that’ll help build those skills. This can be really easy, like walking through the gym doors or even packing your gym bag for tomorrow morning.

4.     Do the behavior today, and tomorrow, and so on. And, keep in mind, if you don’t follow through on a given day, don’t let it derail you. Each day is a clean slate.

 

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female chopping food ingredients

The Power of Rituals

Rituals are powerful things.

Rituals connect us to a recurring cycle of events. Whether it’s a birthday, a bar mitzvah, or your regular Friday night get-togethers with your buddies, rituals are about the regular rhythms of life.

Rituals connect us to the past and the future. Rituals let us review events that have already occurred (e.g. a year gone by) and look ahead to what’s to come (e.g. a new year ahead of us).

Rituals place us in the present and connect us to our lives right now. By actively participating in rituals we are effectively saying “I’m here, paying attention to what’s happening”.

Rituals can connect us to other people. Most of our rituals are social rituals — holidays, graduations, etc. Rituals give us a chance to check in with others and be part of a collective phenomenon.

Rituals can connect us to ourselves. We can use rituals as a way to “touch base” with ourselves as well as other people. Prayer and meditation, for instance, are rituals that people use to step out of the flow of daily life, and to pause for a few moments of self-engagement and reflection.

Food rituals are much the same.

Indeed, most of our rituals involve food: The cake on our birthday. The buffet at the wedding. The familiar dishes on holidays. The offerings or communion at religious ceremonies. The breakfast we make ourselves every morning, without fail, exactly the same way as yesterday.

Whether big or small, rituals ground us. They organize us. They’re a chance to “check in”. To refresh, renew, regroup, and rejoice.

Which makes them perfect for a planning and proactive coaching strategy.

The food prep ritual

The food prep ritual is a simple idea, and one of the oldest and best strategies.

Plan and prepare some healthy food in advance, so that it’s easily available when you want and need it.

This can include:

·      Shopping (or arranging to have food delivered)

·      Menu and meal planning

·      Washing and chopping vegetables

·      Cooking/preparing protein (e.g. cooking up some chicken breasts)

·      Cooking meals in bulk (e.g. casseroles, soups, stews, chili)

·      Preparing the dry ingredients for things like Super Shakes or healthy muffin mix

·      Soaking grains/beans beforehand so that they’ll be ready to cook later

·      Sorting foods into smaller containers or baggies

·      Freezing and refrigerating food for later

·      Planning healthy meals that someone else cooks (e.g. using a meal delivery service, deciding in advance what to order at a restaurant, etc.)

·      Looking ahead to ensure healthy eating strategies during the next few days, especially during difficult times (e.g. a busy week, traveling, dealing with a family crisis, etc.)

What it looks like from here is up to you.

Here are some examples of how to apply the FPR concept.

The Sunday ritual: 1–2 hours

This doesn’t have to be a Sunday. It can be any day where you have a few hours to shop, cook, and prepare some food in advance.

On this day, you can do things like:

·      Buying groceries for the week (or at least the next several days); stocking up on easy staples such as canned beans, pre-washed veggies, etc.

·      Cooking large meals that can be refrigerated or frozen in smaller portions (e.g. chili)

·      Cooking lean protein in bulk (e.g. roasting a couple of chickens, putting several meat patties on the grill, boiling several eggs, etc.)

·      Creating any sauces or condiments needed, such as a fish oil vinaigrette

·      Washing, peeling, and chopping veggies

Here’s one of my fellow Precision Nutrition coaches, Jason Bonn, the acknowledged Food Prep Master, demonstrating his Sunday Ritual magic.

The evening ritual: 15 minutes

If you are willing to take an extra 15 minutes in the evening, you can often prep enough healthy food for the following day.

This can include:

·      Making extra dinner so that they have leftovers for lunch the next day

·      Putting a bowl of steel-cut oats on the counter to soak overnight; in the morning, the oats will cook in no time flat (you can do the same for slow-cooking grains such as wild rice — start soaking them one evening, and they’ll be ready to cook quickly the following evening).

·      Doing a little extra veggie chopping or protein prep while dinner is cooking

·      Chopping some veggies and meat, putting it in a slow cooker dish, and refrigerating the dish; next morning, the client can pull the cooker dish out of the fridge, pop it into the cooker, turn the cooker on, and enjoy coming home that evening to a delicious home-cooked meal

The breakfast ritual: 15 minutes

This one is for the morning people. If clients are willing to take an extra 15 minutes in the morning, they can prep healthy food for the rest of the day.

This can include:

·      Making a Super Shake to bring with them to work (and leave in the work fridge)

·      Packing a lunch (e.g. some of your pre-frozen chili or other bulk meal, dinner leftovers, a wrap)

·      Doing a little extra veggie chopping or protein prep while breakfast is cooking

·      Chopping some veggies and meat, putting it in a slow cooker, and the next morning, turn the cooker on, and enjoy coming home that evening to a delicious home-cooked meal

The 1-minute ritual

Even if clients feel they can’t spare 15 minutes, they can at least spareone minute.

One-minute “plan and prep” actions can include:

When you’re already at the store

·      Pick up a rotisserie chicken.

·      Pick up pre-washed vegetables or pre-made salads.

·      Think ahead to the food prep sessions and buy in bulk.

·      Grab an apple or bag of baby carrots to snack on as you peruse the aisles, so you don’t make decisions while being insane from hunger.

When you’re out for dinner

·      Check out the restaurant’s menu in advance and decide beforehand what to get.

·      Grab a doggie bag.

·      If you can get a large portion and not eat it all, do so purposely, and then go for the aforementioned doggie bag. (By the way, include the leftover meat bits and bones in your doggie bag. You can make them into soup… see below.)

When you’re already cooking

·      Chop, wash, or prep one extra item (e.g. peel one more carrot; chop one more pepper; toss one more chicken breast on the grill; wash an apple; etc.).

·      Put away leftovers immediately (so you’re not tempted to snack on them) into a container for later.

·      After dinner, dump leftover meat bits (e.g. chicken or steak bones, ends of cooked meat, etc.), veggies, grains/beans, etc. into the slow cooker. Cover with water, turn the pot on low, and leave it overnight. In the morning you’ll have delicious soup broth that you can then use as the base for quick soups. (Just pick the bones out.)

In general

·      Think “one meal ahead” and “one behavior ahead”. In other words, anticipate what you might need, want, and/or feel in 2-4 hours from now.

·      Anticipate hunger levels and food needs; anticipate feelings like “At 3 pm, I know I’ll want to eat ____.”

·      Call or place an Internet order with a healthy meal or grocery delivery service — even if that’s just occasionally, when you know you’ll otherwise struggle to find healthy options.

Practiced planning and preparation = Proactivity

With practice, you can routinize and ritualize these types of thinking and behavior patterns.

Even one minute of deliberate planning and preparation done regularly will, over time, dramatically enhance your’ sense of control and proactivity.

And, again, rituals allow us to “pause and reflect” — to take a few moments out of our chaotic lives to find calm, order, and regularity.

All of which eventually enable you to make more thoughtful choices. And, of course, to change for the better.

What to do today

Recognize the power of rituals.
Rituals ground us and let us “check in” with our lives and routines. Harness the instinctive human desire for rituals in the service of nutritional change.

Create new rituals.

Today, try creating a food prep ritual of some kind for your clients. It doesn’t have to be elaborate — even a few minutes, done daily or at least regularly, can dramatically improve their sense of control and proactivity..

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Happy Valentine’s Day

With all of the love in the air this week we’ve been reflecting on the people we love. I know it’s a bit mushy but we really do love our members and I wanted to share a few reasons why…

1. They are givers. They give to our community, they take care of their families, many are caretakers by profession including teachers, nurses, in customer service or own businesses that help others. We are honored to be the ones they chose to take care of them so they can take care of everyone else.

2. They are go-getters. When they decide that they want to accomplish something there is no stopping them.They seek out the answers, find the experts and make it happen and they chose us as their experts to accomplish their health & fitness goals.

3. They don’t settle. Good is not good enough. Our members want the best. At Fit-2-The-Core we bring our best everyday because we love our members so much and want them to have the best.

4. They love to have fun. Our members are what make up our culture at Fit-2-The-Core. When you walk in and feel the energy, the good vibes, the support and the family atmosphere it is because of our members. They make everyday so much fun for us!

5. They don’t waste time. They are busy, busy people with many demands on their schedule so when it comes to getting something done including their workout they don’t waste time. They come to Fit-2-The-Core because they know their time will be used effectively and we’ll get as much done during their session as possible. We love that they mean business when they come to workout.

6. They support each other. The camaraderie in our gym between members is incredible. Always watching out for each other, checking on each other and helping each other out. We have many life long friendships that have grown out of meeting at Fit-2-the-Core. We love seeing the support and care our members show each other.

7. They are part of our community. We are family! They aren’t just customers or nameless gym members. Each member of our gym plays a very special role as a part of our community and culture. Every personality adds something to the atmosphere at Fit-2-The-Core. We only have positive, fun, inspiring people who bring it everyday when they walk through our doors and they rock! Each one of you holds a special place in our hearts.

8. They are dedicated. Our members are very consistent. When they commit to something they don’t waver. We see our members on average 2-3 times a week. Right now we have really dedicated to New Year New You team members here 4 days a week. They are dedicated to their own health & fitness because they know it makes them better at everything else they do. We appreciate their dedication and love seeing them regularly!

9. They love a challenge. Whether it’s a 100 workout challenge, a D2S challenge, our Going Strong Personal Best Challenge, our New Year New You, an Obstacle Course Challenge, or their own personal challenge accomplishing a goal they set out to do our members love to conquer a challenge! We have members who have done pull-ups for the first time, members who have climbed Mountains, bike ride hundreds of miles and who have crossed finish lines…we love that our members are always ready to tackle a challenge!

10. They show appreciation. Our members make our job everyday extremely rewarding. To see them transform their lives year after year and share their stories. We love that our members tell their stories and inspire each other. Many times they’ll say to us- “Thank you!” while we realize that it was all them…we gave them the path but they had to follow through. We always say we won’t take the credit, because we wouldn’t take the blame…they get all the credit!

Fit-2-The-Core Members – You rock! We love you!

We’ll see you in the gym!

Happy Valentines!
Your coaches
Tim, Chris, Carrie, Preston and Tina

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Three Ways To Get Your Eating On Track

Today I want to share one of three strategies that have not only been used successfully by us here at Fit-2-The-Core over the past 8 years, but have been used with over 100,000 people just like you with Precision Nutrition, the most sought-after nutrition company in the world!

This is just one of the many benefits of being a Precision Nutrition Master Level 2 coach, I have full access to a resource that has been times tested by over 100,000 people with amazing life changing results.

Nutrition “advice” often comes in buzzwords and slogans. We’ve all heard at least one of these gems:

  • “Just eat whole foods.”
  • “Only eat food that your grandmother would recognize.”
  • “Eat more fat and fewer carbs.”
  • “If it doesn’t run, fly or swim – or it isn’t a green vegetable –don’t eat it.”

It’s easy to simplify healthy eating into a five-second pitch. But soundbites aren’t enough to actually help people fix their eating and get better results.

You see, when you’re an actual nutrition coach who works with real humans in the real world, slogans don’t get the job done.

Real people need patient, careful, empathetic coaching. This means:

  • Listening to their needs and what they want to accomplish.
  • Learning how they live.
  • Discovering what’s really important to them.
  • And then working together to create the right nutritional approach for them, a diet that’s personal and unique, based on their goals and lifestyle.

Another thing that good nutrition coaches do to help their clients?

  • Observing their progress carefully and correcting course as necessary.

Here’s why: Every diet system is going to stop working at some point. No matter how great it seems initially, that diet will break.

And when it does, your next step is crucial

So, today, I’m going to share with you the first of  three strategies that will help you figure out how to get started when your diet feels broken and how to adjust when your nutrition plan stops working.

Step 1: Identify and remove nutritional deficiencies

Most people think they need a complete overhaul at first.

“I have to cut out sugar… and dairy… and carbs… and saturated fat.

Plus I have to eat more protein… more healthy fats… and more vegetables.

Not a lot of fruit, though.

I have to start drinking lots of water too.

And exercise… maybe a 6 am workout… yeah.”

I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just thinking about changing all this, all at once.

Let’s call it the “Mission Impossible” approach.

After coaching nearly 1000 clients and with precision nutrition coaching over 100,000 clients in in the last few years. We’ve come to realize that the Mission Impossible approach isn’t just difficult; it’s misguided.

Because a complete overhaul rarely addresses what’s making most people feel bad in the first place.

Often, people struggle with how they look and feel because their physiology doesn’t work the way it should.

This can be hormonal imbalances, but it’s more often dietary deficiency: not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts, to get the best results.

Dietary deficiencies, therefore, are the first red flag that something’s wrong.

Just how common are dietary deficiencies?

The research in this area is pretty telling. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that it’s really hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals from food alone.

This study analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! The most common deficiencies?

  • iodine
  • vitamin D
  • zinc
  • vitamin E
  • calcium

 

Another study, also published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, showed that people following one of four (previously) popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:

  • vitamin B7
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • chromium
  • iodine
  • Molybdenum

Bottom line: Dietary deficiencies are very common. Chances are, you’ve got one, no matter how good you think your diet is. That’s a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your body doesn’t work as it should, you feel rotten.

Just how important is this first step?

Energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood all rely on getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.

That’s why you can eat “clean”, go Paleo, avoid meat, lower your carbs, or count calories – you can do “everything right” nutritionally –and still feel lousy.

You need to identify your red flags from the very beginning and start eliminating them, one by one.

What are the common nutritional red flags?

Here are the most common deficiencies we see with new clients:

  • water (low-level dehydration)
  • vitamins and minerals
  • protein (particularly in women and in men with low appetites)
  • essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient here)

As soon as clients begin with us, we do a quick survey of what they’re eating. From there, we help them:

  • eat more of the protein-rich foods they prefer;
  • drink more hydrating fluids;
  • take in more essential fats (through whole foods, fish oil, or algae oil or supplements)
  • eat more foods rich in the vitamins and minerals they need most and adding in a vitamin supplement

Without any other advanced screening or dietary changes, our clients quickly start feeling better. They lose fat and gain lean muscle. They feel more motivated. And their workouts become easier and better.

The power of removing nutrient deficiencies

Here’s just one example (of many): Research in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that providing fish oil and a multivitamin to prison inmates reduces aggressive and violent behavior by 35% and decreases antisocial behavior by 26%.

Also, a paper published in Nutrition Reviews shows that giving children fish oil and a multivitamin improves both their behavior and intelligence scores. (Who doesn’t want a smarter, better-behaved kid?)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients, they need to do their work, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive!

Whether you’re a beginner and trying to get started in the right direction, or you’re experienced but still spinning your wheels, this first step – when applied consistently – can make all the difference.

New Year New You Transformation Contest

Maybe your lacking motivation and need a kick in the butt, or your just not feeling energized throughout your entire day, or maybe it’s been awhile since you felt capable and confident enough to do what you truly want.

If you’re ready to have the body you deserve and get in control of your health and fitness once and for all, then this contest is perfect for you. Stop trying doing to do it alone. Now try with a group of your peers here at Fit-2-The-Core who’s ready to bring a commitment that’s as serious as your own by joining our New Year New You Team Contest starting on Saturday February 10th.

Click the link below and get signed up today:

I'M READY

Your Coach

Tim Rudd

P.S.-For this week only if you refer a friend to this New Year New You Contest, you play for free!

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Composite image of new years resolutions on january calendar

Why Your New Years Resolutions Are Holding You Back

The New Year is right around the corner and you are eager to start 2018 strong. Throughout the month of December with every workout you miss, piece of pie you eat and every glass of wine you drink, you keep telling yourself that on January 1st I’ll recommit to my nutrition and workout regimen. The ole reliable New Year’s Resolution, that for most just gets them through the holidays guilt free, with promise to themselves that they will get it together on January 1st with their New Year’s Resolutions.

This may seem normal, I mean everyone does this right? Yes, most people do, but most people who take this approach usually end up right where they started by end of February , so maybe this isn’t the recipe for success. Maybe after all the years of failed New Year’s Resolutions you finally have come to grips that it’s these very New Year’s Resolutions are what have been holding you back all these years. There is a fact that can’t be denied, that most people have forgotten and giving up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. Each year is filled with one excuse after the other, I’m too busy, it’s too hard, it’s not working, I’m too tired, I don’t know what to do, I’m hungry all the time, eating healthy is boring and the list goes on and on.

The main issue with New Year’s resolutions is that many people use it as an excuse not to get started right now, they rely solely on the motivation of the New Year to get started on eating better and working out more consistently. They rely merely on the motivation and excitement of the New Year.

The reality however is that the reason many people fail to reach their health and fitness goals is simply because they rely too much on motivation, and this is one of the biggest reasons why your New Year’s Resolutions are holding you back.

Motivation Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Motivation is great at getting you started, but fails miserably at keeping you going, this is why most people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January. Many of these people hit the gym 5 days a week while completely overhauling their diets and their lifestyle. This works for about 3 weeks and then reality starts setting in, you start to lose that motivation that you had at the beginning of the new year, and getting up 5 days a week starts to get harder and harder, your tired of being sore all the time and the workouts are just too hard, all the sudden those 5 days start to turn into 3 days, 1 day and then no days.

The diet, well you just have time to make all those meals, and in honestly you miss eating carbs and your tired of being hungry and tired all the time. All the sudden the excuses start to slowly creep their way back into your life, I’m too busy, it’s too hard, I don’ like the food I have to eat, I’ll get back on track tomorrow etc. Problem is that tomorrow never comes.

Even though your intentions are good, it’s this strategy of relying solely motivation that is holding you back. The reality is that you will get busy, you will soon find out that it is hard and there will be days that you just don’t feel like working and eating healthy. Motivation ebbs and flows and it’s the only way to stay consistent with your goals is to have strategies in place for those times when your motivation is ebbing, it’s your strategies that will see you through until your motivation is flowing again. It’s normal to not too be excited to workout, or to eat healthy and to want to skip workouts and eat whatever you want. But the difference between those that do it anyway and those that don’t isn’t that their more motivated, it’s they have a strategy to ensure that it gets done.

Don’t want to get up and workout? Make an appointment with your coach each week like it’s appointment. It’s human nature not to want to let others down. This strategy of having someone waiting for you, holding you accountable, can just be that push you need to stay consistent with your workouts. You can also find a friend to workout with, holding each other accountable is another powerful strategy in overcoming a lack of motivation.

Don’t feel like eating healthy. Only have food in your house that supports your health and fitness goals. This again works for you as humans we are innately lazy, and we can make this laziness work for us if we make it more difficult to eat food that doesn’t support our health and fitness goals. If chips, burritos, ice cream and or wine isn’t readily accessible, it will be more difficult to talk yourself into going out of your way to eat foods that won’t support your goals.

Preparation

I you don’t feel like preparing food, you can simply by prepared food in advance, one of my favorites is rotisserie chicken form whole foods. It’s easy, when you get home you can just throw it the oven and warm it up or simple chop it up and make heathy and delicious salad. You can also invest in a food delivery service such as Territory who deliver fresh precooked food to your door, throw in the microwave and you’re eating in three minutes.

These are just a few examples of strategies that we use with our clients hear at Fit-2-The-Core. There is nothing wrong with New Years Resolutions motivation, but make sure that you don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will always be motivated, start to implement strategies that will help you to stay consistent with your workout and nutrition, especially when your motivation is hard to find.

 

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